This is done to protect patrons at exhibitions of films rated "G" or "GP" against unwitting exposure to a possibly offensive trailer for an "X"-rated film.
Turning our attention to the substantive issue, it is manifest from a reading of Act No. 100 that, however well-intended, it is so patently vague and lacking in any ascertainable standards and so infringes upon the plaintiffs' rights to freedom of expression, as protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Federal Constitution, as to render it unconstitutional. Interstate Circuit v. Dallas, 390 U.S. 676, 88 S. Ct. 1298, 20 L. Ed. 2d 225 (1968). The conclusory standards "suitable for family or children's viewing" and "not suitable for family or children's viewing" are left undefined in the statute and the attempted recourse to Association ratings is of no avail.
The statute subjects to criminal sanctions only those who show films rated by the Association, since exhibitors who do not show rated films, -- and there are many -- cannot violate this law. Such discrimination tends strongly to discourage the exercise by plaintiffs of First Amendment freedom. That no plaintiff has yet been prosecuted is of no consequence. "For (the) threat of sanctions may deter * * * almost as potently as the actual application of sanctions. * * *" Dombrowski v. Pfister, 380 U.S. 479, 486, 85 S. Ct. 1116, 1120, 14 L. Ed. 2d 22 (1965).
Accordingly, we conclude that the plaintiffs have established their right to equitable relief.
The foregoing Opinion embodies the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law, conformably to Fed. R. Civ. P. 52(a).
Now, this 12th day of August, 1970, it is adjudged that:
1. Act No. 100 amending the Penal Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1939 P.L. 872) by adding thereto Section 530.1 is unconstitutional.
2. The defendant, Arlen Specter, District Attorney in and for Philadelphia County, is hereby restrained and enjoined from enforcing the provisions of the aforesaid Act.